Minimum Wage

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Minimum Wage

Post by ElfDude » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:00 am

The layoffs begin. From azcentral.com...
New wage boost puts squeeze on teenage workers across Arizona
Employers are cutting back hours, laying off young staffers
Chad Graham
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 10, 2007 12:00 AM

Oh, for the days when Arizona's high school students could roll pizza dough, sweep up sticky floors in theaters or scoop ice cream without worrying about ballot initiatives affecting their earning power.

That's certainly not the case under the state's new minimum-wage law that went into effect last month.

Some Valley employers, especially those in the food industry, say payroll budgets have risen so much that they're cutting hours, instituting hiring freezes and laying off employees.
And teens are among the first workers to go.

Companies maintain the new wage was raised to $6.75 per hour from $5.15 per hour to help the breadwinners in working-poor families. Teens typically have other means of support.

Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix, estimates he has employed more than 2,000 high school students since 1990. But he plans to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others. Of his 25-person workforce, roughly 75 percent are in high school.

"I've had to go to some of my kids and say, 'Look, my payroll just increased 13 percent,' " he said. " 'Sorry, I don't have any hours for you.' "

Messner's monthly cost to train an employee has jumped from $440 to $580 as the turnover rate remains high.

"We go to great lengths to hang on to our high school workers, but there are a lot of kids who come in and get one check in their pocket and feel like they're living large and out the door they go," he said. "We never get our return on investment when that happens."

For years, economists have debated how minimum-wage increases impact the teenage workforce.

The Employment Policies Institute in Washington, which opposed the recent increases, cited 2003 data by Federal Reserve economists showing a 10 percent increase caused a 2 percent to 3 percent decrease in employment.

It also cited comments by notedeconomist Milton Friedman, who maintained that high teen unemployment rates were largely the result of minimum-wage laws.

"After a wage hike, employers seek to take fewer chances on individuals with little education or experience," one institute researcher told lawmakers in 2004.

Tom Kelly, owner of Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream Parlor in Phoenix, voted for the minimum-wage increase. But he said, "The new law has impacted us quite a bit."

It added about $2,000 per month in expenses. The store, which employs mostly teen workers, has cut back on hours and has not replaced a couple of workers who quit.

Kelly raised the wages of workers who already made above minimum wage to ensure pay scales stayed even. As a result, "we have to be a lot more efficient" and must increase menu prices, he said.

While most of the state's 124,067 workers between the ages of 16 and 19 made well above $5.15 per hour before the change, the new law has created real-life economic opportunities.

Liliana Hernandez brings home noticeably more under the new law. The 18-year-old, who attends Metro Tech High School in Phoenix and works part time at Central High School, is saving the extra money, maybe to put towards buying a used car.

Hernandez said she deserves the raise just like any other Arizona worker even if she still lives with her parents.

"I'm doing the best I can and working hard like everyone else," she said.

In the months leading up to last November's vote, advocates of the new law maintained that it would help Arizona create a "living wage" for some of the poorest workers.

The Economic Policy Institute estimated that 145,000 Arizonans would receive a pay raise. That was how many made $5.15 to $6.74 per hour.

At one press conference, a mother described how she was unable to afford basic school supplies for her son.

Opponents, however, said there was little talk about teenage workers. "Everyone wanted to focus on the other aspects of the minimum-wage campaign," said Michelle Bolton, Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

An Employment Policies Institute study determined that 30.1 percent of affected workers in Arizona fell between the ages of 16 and 19.

"Workers affected by the minimum-wage increase are less likely to be supporting a family than the typical Arizona worker," it stated. "For example, 30.4 percent of the workers are living with their parent or parents, while only 7.6 percent of all Arizona workers are in this category."

John Weischedel, a senior at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, knows he is lucky to be making $8 per hour at an auto dealership and learning technical skills. So are most of his friends who make $9 or more per hour while still attending high school.

After the minimum-wage law went into effect, "a couple of my friends got laid off - they worked in fast food," he said. "They're going to wait until they're out of high school to find other jobs."
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Post by awip2062 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:17 am

I've a friend who owns three pizza places (Domino's) and spoke with him about the minimum wage increase before it went into effect. He said that it would cause him to have to lay-off workers and eventually, it will cause him to close down altogether.

He based that upon the fact that customers are only willing to pay so much for product and if it costs more for him to pay an employee than he can afford, he can't do buisness.

As for the girl in the article who said, "I'm doing the best I can and working hard like everyone else," mmmmmhmmmmmm, I agree that good workers deserve raises, but to have the government madate your raise isn't the way to go about getting one.

The way to get one is to keep working hard and earn them. Employers will not keep a good employee at the starting wage, but will give added monies with added responsibility.
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Post by ElfDude » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:27 am

Some say this sounds cold and uncaring, but labor is a commodity. It is always a bad idea to have a government regulating the cost of commodities.
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Post by awip2062 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:30 am

Free markets for you, eh?
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Post by Me » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:27 am

Desert sheep hiding pig bribery... grab the first meandering Amtrak in your fish-net stockings and enjoy the rat aphorisms while dining on a fresh fly fry and sea bake with oral cookies and goats milk for your late night cravings.
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Post by ElfDude » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:56 pm

And the blue fish swims in muddy water...
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Post by awip2062 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:08 pm

Do you wish to chew (Blue Goo) Sir?
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:53 am

ElfDude wrote:Some say this sounds cold and uncaring, but labor is a commodity. It is always a bad idea to have a government regulating the cost of commodities.
Yes, and indeed their own raises, of which there have been several in the last 6 years and none for the workers of the U.S. If they would have done it slowly over the last 6 it's possible it wouldn't have such a drastic impact on businesses. Oh well, what's done is done.
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Post by ElfDude » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:20 am

Big Blue Owl wrote:
ElfDude wrote:Some say this sounds cold and uncaring, but labor is a commodity. It is always a bad idea to have a government regulating the cost of commodities.
Yes, and indeed their own raises, of which there have been several in the last 6 years and none for the workers of the U.S. If they would have done it slowly over the last 6 it's possible it wouldn't have such a drastic impact on businesses. Oh well, what's done is done.
Agreed about government giving themselves raises.
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Post by CygnusX1 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:40 am

ElfDude wrote:
Big Blue Owl wrote:
ElfDude wrote:Some say this sounds cold and uncaring, but labor is a commodity. It is always a bad idea to have a government regulating the cost of commodities.
Yes, and indeed their own raises, of which there have been several in the last 6 years and none for the workers of the U.S. If they would have done it slowly over the last 6 it's possible it wouldn't have such a drastic impact on businesses. Oh well, what's done is done.
Agreed about government giving themselves raises.

I don't give MYSELF raises.

In fact, the COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) raise I
got this year - my health insurance increase ALONE
took care of that. POOF. Gone.

We're downsized to the point where people are
walking out from stress.

Oh yeah, it's a Slice-o'-Heaven.

As far as private sector workers go, better beg
corporate CEO's to let go of some of those HUGE
profits they're making-and-taking, and give it back
to the workforce.

Now THOSE people - THEY GIVE THEMSELVES RAISES.

It's mostly SMALL business that's hurting from the min. wage increase.

Corporations would have NO PROBLEM with it.*

*see above note about corporate CEO's.
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Post by zepboy » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:54 pm

I think the minimum wage is a crutch for people who are unwilling to work hard enough to get ahead. Of course, there are legitimately disadvantaged people who cannot do better, but they are by far the minority, and I am not addressing them.

There are too many people in our society with an entitlement mentality. They think others owe something to them without them ever having gotten off their lazy behinds to work. I think it's wrong for the government to intervene so these people make more money without the effort to advance themselves.

As for myself, I have began with several companies at the bottom. Having gone through several layoffs, I've learned from the school of hard knocks. Every time, I was able to get to the point where I was able to support my family without someone coming in and dictating my wage.

For too long, the hard working people have been required by our government to foot the bill for those who have learned to play a system. I'm tired of it.

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Post by CygnusX1 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:02 am

zepboy wrote:I think the minimum wage is a crutch for people who are unwilling to work hard enough to get ahead. Of course, there are legitimately disadvantaged people who cannot do better, but they are by far the minority, and I am not addressing them.

There are too many people in our society with an entitlement mentality. They think others owe something to them without them ever having gotten off their lazy behinds to work. I think it's wrong for the government to intervene so these people make more money without the effort to advance themselves.

As for myself, I have began with several companies at the bottom. Having gone through several layoffs, I've learned from the school of hard knocks. Every time, I was able to get to the point where I was able to support my family without someone coming in and dictating my wage.

For too long, the hard working people have been required by our government to foot the bill for those who have learned to play a system. I'm tired of it.
I've gone from the bottom up myself, and my hat's off to ya.

Lest we forget, we also have young enlisted military folks living below the poverty level also. That's a disgrace. I'm tired of THAT.
Don't start none...won't be none.

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